Ten Dude Ranches for Families

When I was telling my writing buddy that dude ranches were the topic of the latest post, her response was “dude ranches for kids?!” I responded yes there are lots!  Let’s talk about what you can expect from a dude ranch family vacation.

dude ranches for families

How to choose the best Dude Ranch for your family vacation:

The first step in choosing the best dude ranch for your family is determining your budget for the trip. A price for a dude ranch vacation can vary wildly, from super expensive to fairly reasonable.

There is most definitely a luxury aspect to dude ranches depending on the dude ranch that you choose. In others words, just because you are on a ranch, doesn’t mean you have to rough it. You know unless you want to rough it.  In which case, you can absolutely find a place that offers more primitive style accommodations.

Some ranches focus primarily on horse riding, however, there is so much more to that. Don’t worry though, even if you don’t like horses, even at a ranch that has a heavy focus there are plenty of other activities that will keep you busy.

Here are other activities you can expect from a dude ranch: hiking, fishing, rafting, or even curling up with a good book.

In no particular order here are 10 dude ranches that your family will love!

1. The Resort at Paws Up.

Located in Montana.
From their website “our Montana family vacation offers everything from Montana horseback riding, Montana fly-fishing, river rafting, and rappelling…to paintball wars, a kids camp and chuck wagon rides. Imagine a singular experience featuring luxurious homes, glamping, exhilarating adventure, fine dining, fascinating history (Lewis & Clark walked the trails) and unparalleled vistas.”

Choose from the accommodations that work the best for you and your family. From offering vacation homes to luxury camping sites there is something for everyone at The Resort at Paws Up.

Rates start at $444 per person per night for the winter season, the rate is inclusive of breakfast lunch and dinner. Activities are available at an additional charge.

2. Tanque Verde Ranch

The Tanque Verde Ranch is located in Tucson, Arizona.

The ranch is offers a kids club that is included in the cost of your stay. Your kids will find themselves on horseback, doing arts and crafts, hiking and swimming among other things.

They even offer dancing lessons, which I would happily take part in if I could figure out how to get my husband on board.

This place looks pretty amazing, with all inclusive 3 meals a day package rates start at $325 per night. 

3. Rawah Guest Ranch

Rawah Guest Ranch is located in Colorado we have been fortunate to visit twice. The staff of Rawah has become like family to us and we speak of our time at Rawah often. 

The food at Rawah is some of the best we’ve had anywhere and our overall experience was one that dreams are made of. In fact when we returned home, my kids asked if we could start a “Rawah Jar” to save up to return. 

You can read about our time, here, here and here

Rates start at 1,785 for a 3 night stay. 

4. Drowsy Water Ranch

The Drowsy Water Ranch is located in Granby, Colorado.

They have a kids program for kids of all ages, from horse riding to crafts and hiking for a picnic lunch.

With incredibly cozy cabins and a lodge that is welcoming and the perfect spot to curl up with a good book, the hope is that Drowsy Water Ranch will feel like a second home.

Rates start at $2,500 per adult for the week, including meals and activities.

5. Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

This guest ranch is located in New Mexico.

You and your family can pick and choose the activities that you will participate in and also determine how much or how little helping out you will be doing. There are plenty of hiking trails as well as beautiful riding trails.

Rates start at $380 per person, per night and include all activities and meals.

6. Nine Quarter Circle Ranch

Located in Montana. This place looks amazing!

They boast that Yellowstone is their back yard, it doesn’t look like they are too far off!

Meals are included with your stay as well as free WiFi access and each room has a phone to use, your cell phone won’t get reception!

Rates start at $2,405 per person for the week. This rate includes meals and all activities on the ranch.

7. C Lazy U Ranch

Located in Colorado C Lazy U was named a top resort in the world by Conde Nast Traveler! The best part? They have an amazing kids program that will leave your kids feeling like they are at summer camp!

Pricing ranges from $325 per person per night to $550 per person per night depending on the time of the year for Winter and Summer respectively.  The rates are inclusive. The rates include lodging, gourmet dining, the renowned kids program and most activities on the ranch.

We’ve visited C Lazy U Ranch, read our review here.

8. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is located in Colorado. This resort is located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

With each Dude Ranch Vacation package guests receive: comfortable cabins with daily housekeeping services, hearty ranch-style meals, your own horse for your stay, horseback riding adventures on the trail and in the arena, trap shooting. 

They also have the capacity to host Bed and Breakfast getaways in addition to the traditional ranch vacation.

Rates start at 2,295 per person per week, including meals and activities.

9. Rainbow Trout Ranch

The Rainbow Trout Ranch is located in Colorado.

The ranch boasts beautiful guest cabins set against the beautiful Colorado backdrop!

This ranch offers several unique extra opportunities in addition to the traditional activities such as, whitewater rafting, a 64-mile train ride, just to name a few. 

Adults start at 2,700 per week, per person, including all meals, white water rafting, and all on-ranch activities.

10. Gros Venture River Ranch

Gros Venture River Ranch is located in Wyoming.

From the website: “A guest ranch is the perfect place for youngsters. Your kids can fish with you at the ponds, get out the row boat or play on the dock, tube down the river, learn how to rope, play in the main yard on the play set, start up a game of tetherball or soccer, ride a mountain bike around the ranch, climb the small-scale boulders on the ranch and play pool or ping pong in our recreation room.” 

Prices start at $2,279, including all meals and activities.

Tell us? Have you done a dude ranch vacation before? We have and we fell head over heels for the little ranch we visited. Read about it here.

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